Makes sense. Why would a newspaper chain with ethics that are often questioned by readers volunteer to be challenged by a body that investigates reader complaints?
Forget the "political correctness" canard. This decision is economic. If you're losing money all the time, withdrawing from a regulatory body--even a weak one like the press council, saves you on legal fees. And if your goal as a newspaper chain is to slander and spread hate-speech, the savings can be considerable.
There's no glorious rebellion here. The same newspaper chain that is rumoured to make its own employees take out their own trash and pee out an eight floor window rather than provide functioning bathrooms wants to cut a few $s that it might otherwise have to pay to their lawyer squad.
I thought the main purpose for being in the press council (other than trying to stave off government regulation - which isn't likely in this climate) is to divert possible libel/defamation cases and thus reduce legal costs?
That is also true. I'm just assuming their are costs involved in going to the press council as well. I'm pretty sure the paper's lawyers get involved there too. And you have to be willing to spend quite a bit more to initiate a defamation suit, so few people will make the effort.
My understanding is that under normal circumstances lawyers are not part of the process. From the OPC website: " the Press Council will not accept legal submissions or legal representations from either side". That's not to say that a newspaper's in house lawyers might not be consulted internally prior to any hearing.
I guess theirs money involved.
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